آیلتس از پر تقاضاترین آزمونهای بین المللی است که البته در ایران نیز طرفداران بسیاری دارد. برای موفقیت در این آزمون باید اشراف کاملی بر موضوعات داشته باشید و به سراغ نکات و ترفندهای موثر بروید. اگر شما هم قصد شرکت در این آزمون را دارید، در ادامه مقالهای به زبان انگلیسی شما را راهنمایی کرده و میتواند شروع خوبی برای مسیر یادگیری شما باشد. این مقاله یک راهنمای کامل و جامع در مورد هر نکتهای است که باید در مورد آیلتس بدانید.
A Guide to IELTS
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an international test for study, immigration or work, widely approved by host of universities and employers all across the globe.
There are two modules of the test, Academic (intended for those who want to enroll in universities and other institutions of higher education as well as professionals such as medical doctors and nurses who want to study or practice in an English-speaking country) and General module (intended for those planning to undertake non-academic training or to gain work experience or for immigration purposes.
The four parts of IELTS test
Listening: 30 minutes (plus 10 minutes transfer time) (4 sections)
Reading: 60 minutes (3 passages, taken from journals, magazines, books, newspaper, leaflets, advertisements, notices, and booklets, written for non-specialist audience)
Writing: 60 minutes (Task1, Task2)
Speaking: 11-14 minutes (Face to face interview, 3 parts, taken on a separate day)
The total test time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Scoring and band scale
There is no pass or fail. The test is scored on a nine-band scale, corresponding to a specified competence in English.
9 (C2) (Expert User): Has full operational command of language: appropriate, accurate and fluent with complete understanding
8 (C1) (Very Good User): Has fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies with some misunderstandings in unfamiliar situations.
7 (C1) (Good User): Has operational command of the language with occasional inaccuracies. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.
6 (B2) (Competent User): Has generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies. Can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.
5 (B2) (Modest User): Has partial command of the language, coping with overall meaning in most situation, though is likely to make many mistakes. Should be able to handle basic communication in own field.
4 (B1) (Limited User): basic competence with limited familiar situations. Frequent problems in understanding and expressions. Unable to use complex language.
3 (A2) (Extremely Limited User): Conveys and understands only general meaning in very familiar situations. Frequent breakdowns in communication occur.
2 (A1) (Intermittent User): Not real communication is possible except for the most basic information using isolated words. Has great difficulty understanding spoken and written English.
1 (Non User): Essentially has no ability to use the language.
0 (Did not attempt the test): No assessable information provided at all.0
THE IELTS SPEAKING TEST
Part 1: 4-5 minutes: Introduction and questions on familiar topic areas such as work, study, hobbies, holiday
Part 2: 3-4 minutes: 2 minutes talk on a familiar topic, with one-minute preparation time beforehand
Part 3: 4-5 minutes: Two-way discussion on issues related to the topic in part 2
Part 1 sample questions
1. What job do you do?
2. Why did you choose that particular job?
3. What do you do every day?
4. What other work would you consider doing?
I’d like to move on and ask you some questions about relaxing.
1. What types of activities help you relax?
2. Do you like to do these activities alone or with other people?
3. Why do you think it is important for people to relax?
4. Do you think people have enough time for relaxing?
Let’s change the topic and talk about your family.
1. Do you have a big or a small family?
2. Do you live together or nearby?
3. What activities do you like to do together?
Speaking part 2
In the IELTS speaking part 2 you will have to talk on a topic that the examiner gives you for 2 minutes. It is designed to test your ability to speak for an extended period without hesitation or repetition
You will be given a card that asks you to ‘describe’ something. They are topics that you should have some experience of or know something about. You will have 1 minute to prepare what you are going to say, and you will be given a paper and pencil to make notes if you want to.
Here is an example:
Describe the type of clothes you prefer to wear
You should say:
What the clothes look like
When you prefer to wear them
Where you like to buy them
Explain why you like wearing these clothes
You may then be asked one or two followed up questions:
Do your friends like to wear this type of clothes?
Do you wear other styles of clothes as well?
Speaking part 3 (4-5 minutes)
In the final part of the speaking test the examiner will have a discussion with you about some issues that will be related to the topic that you talked about in part 2. The questions in this part are of a more abstract nature and therefore are more difficult than the questions in part one and two. They mainly expect you to give an opinion, explain something, make comparisons, make predictions or make suggestions.
Here is an example:
1. Is buying clothes a popular activity for teenagers in your country?
2. How much money should parents spend on their children’s clothes?
3. What types of fashion do teenagers like to wear in your country?
4. What influence has the fashion industry had in your country?
5. Are the fashions of today different from those when your parents were young?
THE IELTS READING TEST (types of questions)
1. Short-answer question
2. Multiple choice
3. Sentence completion
4. Notes/summary/diagram/flow chart/table completion
5. Choosing a heading for a paragraph
6. Identification of writer’s views/claims- yes/no or not given
7. Identification of information- true, false or not given
9. Matching lists/phrases
There is an answer sheet and you must enter all the questions on there during the test. There is no extra time at the end to enter the scores.
i): Read many articles: This will give a certain kind of experience and confidence for that matter. A week or two prior to the exam, ensure that you read as many articles as you can.
ii): Skimming: This is a reading technique that allows you to read through a given text very fast and within the shortest time possible while identifying main ideas of the given text. This technique will help you save on time and will also allow you to have an idea of what the text is all about within the first reading.
iii): Scanning: This is a technique where you read through every line very quickly looking for a specific word or phrase. It comes in handy when you are looking for a one-word answer.
iv): Title: the title of the text that you are reading will tell you what the text is all about. First read the title. It will give you an idea of the content of the text so you will have ann ample time comprehending since you already have an idea of what you are reading.
v): Time Management: this is very key! The reading module is 60 minutes ling an there are three questions for you to answer. DO NOT share time equally so that you allocate each question twenty minutes. The IELTS standard works with an increasing difficulty that means the last question difficulty level will be higher than the last two so make sure that you will have close to thirty or twenty-five minutes for the last passage.
vi): Check Grammar: Be extra careful with the grammar at the beginning of the questions. Every beginning of a sentence is very important.
vii): Do not read the whole text: Time is essence here. There will never be enough time to read through all the text. There are parts of the text that you will never find any question rising from so no need to read. Just remember that your job is look for the right answers not reading everything.
viii): If you cannot find the answer of the current question, leave it pending and proceed: The trick here is moving from the known to the unknown so just mark it maybe with a big star and move on to answer other question but always remember that you have unanswered question. Once you have finished writing your answers then go back for it.
THE IELTS WRITING TEST
IELTS Writing Task 1(Academic)
1. Description of a process
2. Comparison of two maps
3. Description of charts, graphs and tables
IELTS Writing Task 2 (Answering a question)
2. Discuss Two opinion
4. Problems and Solutions
6. Two-part/Double questions
i): In your writing test there are no right or wrong answers or opinions. The examiners assess how well you can use your English to report information and express ideas.
ii): Analyze the question carefully to make sure your answer addresses all the points covered by the question. Identify and underline the key words in the question to have a clear understanding of your task
iii): Notice the minimum word limit. If you write less than the required words (task 1 150 words, task 2 250 words) you will lose marks. Preferably, try to exceed the word limit.
iv): Be careful to use your own words and do not copy the words from the question. Come up with synonyms and paraphrasing.
v): You must write your answers in full, not in note form or bullet points. You must arrange your ideas in paragraphs, to show the examiner that you are able to organize your main and supporting points.
vi): you do not have to write very long sentences to do well in your writing test. If sentences are too long, they will become less coherent and also make it harder for you to control the grammar.
vii): In academic writing task 1 you have to select and compare relevant information from data presented in a graph, table or diagram. In your introduction do not copy the text from the question or title. Use your own words. You should not try to interpret or give reasons for the data. Keep your response factual.
viii): Task 2 of the academic test is an essay. Do not forget to plan your essay structure before you start writing. You should include an introduction, ideas to support your argument or opinion. Real-life examples to illustrate your points, and a conclusion paragraph based on the information you have provided.
ix): You have 40 minutes to write your task 2 essay. Make sure you give yourself at least five minutes to plan your answer before you start writing. Also leave five to ten minutes at the end to review and proofread your essay and check for mistakes.
x): Make your position or point of view as clear as possible in your essay for academic writing task 2. Your last paragraph should be a conclusion which is consistent with the arguments you have included in your essay.
xi): Memorizing a model answer for the writing test will not help you. The examiner will see that your answer does not match the topic of the essay. However, reading samples and getting familiar with more common vocabulary, cohesive devices as well as sentence structures can be a great help.
xii): Many candidates confuse singular and plural nouns. Pay attention to this when writing and also to other mistakes regarding articles, countable, uncountable nouns, subject verb agreement and so forth.
xiii): Take care to punctuation and spell words correctly. Standard American, Australian and British spellings are acceptable.
THE LISTENING TEST OF IELTS
IELTS listening consists of four sections:
Section 1: Conversation Between 2 speakers about everyday situations. This is the easiest section as the speakers speak quite slowly, make pauses and the key information is usually repeated.
Section 2: A monologue about everyday situations. Speaker talks quite slowly, but makes less pause than the previous section.
Section 3: Conversation between 2,3 or 4 speakers about educational or training situations. This section is harder than the two previous as they discuss topics at a faster pace and sometimes use advanced vocabulary.
Section 4: A monologue on academic subject; the speaker gives a lecture on a particular subject matter. It is the most difficult section. There is no break in the middle, the speaker speaks quite quickly and uses a wide range of vocabulary.
i): Improve your general listening skills. The goal of the listening test is to assess your listening skills. Don not use practice tests to improve your score. It is not enough! They will only help you become familiar with the test, but will not much improve your listening abilities. It is much more effective to do various listening exercises, listen to general materials such as radio reports, TV shows, documental programs etc, and only after that do IELTS listening practice tests.
ii): Word types: Skip over the questions and decide which type of word fits in each gap. Is it a noun, verb, adverb or adjective? Write N for noun, V for verb and so on. This will help you focus on the specific word forms while listening.
iii): Plug in situation: Try to get an idea of the situation. Before each part you will be given a short introduction; now you will hear a dialogue between … or you will hear a lecture on … This information is not written on the question paper, so be attentive. Note: who are the speakers, why are they speaking and where are they. This will make understanding the rest of the recording much easier.
iv): Do not lose attention: Remember, you will only hear the audio once. So if you did not hear some words and passed over some questions, do not worry! Leave them blank and focus on the actual part. Review those questions at the end of the section, otherwise, you will only miss more questions and tangle in the recording. You will need to read, write and listen all at the same time.
v): Watch out word-indicators: Listen for words such as however, but, the, finally etc… They help you indicate what the speaker will say next.
vi): Do not write answers too quickly: A lot of students fall into this trap: as soon as they hear the needed information, they take it for the correct answer. But sometimes this information is repeated or corrected further in the section. In other words, look out for distractors
vii): Check for silly mistakes: After each section you have 30 seconds to check your answers. It is important to check spelling, plurals, and word forms. Remember that only correctly written answers will gain points.
viii): Transfer answers accurately: At the end of the listening test you will have 10 minutes for transferring your answers into the answer sheet. And quite often students get confused in the numeration! As you write down your answers, check that they fit into the correct numbered space. In other words, make sure that answer for question 7 for example goes into space number 7.
ix): Do not leave any blank answers: you will not lose marks for incorrect answers, so even if you do not know the answer it is better to write something in the answers box. Read the question again and make a guess.
Writing Task 1 (Graphs, charts) Vocabulary
to increase, to rise, to go up, to climb, to shoot up, to rocket, to soar, to surge, to grow, to leap, to escalate, to ascend, to improve, to jump, to boom, to swell, to climax, to skyrocket, to peak
to decrease, to fall, to go down, to decline, to drop, to plunge, to plummet, to dive, to dip, to descend, to reduce, to slump, to collapse, to slide, to dwindle, to nosedive, to deteriorate, to tail off, to halve, to shrink
Remain the same, remain constant, stabilize, level off, remain steady, hold steady, plateau, reach a plateau, stay the same, even out, remain static, stay a steady level, experience a period of stability, remain relatively unchanged, level out, maintain the same level
e.g. The prices remained steady throughout the period.
Fluctuating trend (many changes):
Fluctuate, go through an erratic period, vary wildly, rise and fall erratically, experience a period of erratic behavior, experience a period of instability, show some variation/fluctuation, experience a period of volatility, enter a period of fluctuation, witness considerable variation
e.g. The prices experienced an erratic period/ rose and fell erratically.
Adverbs to describe a big change:
Dramatically, sharply, suddenly, significantly, drastically, noticeably, steeply, considerably, abruptly, markedly, wildly, rapidly, substantially, greatly, hugely, enormously, remarkably massively, exponentially
e.g: The prices grew abruptly/ significantly.
Adverbs to describe a small change:
Slightly, gently, gradually, steadily, moderately, modestly, marginally, slowly, minimally, relatively, insignificantly, inconsiderably, consistently, little by little, step by step
e.g.: The prices grew moderately/ marginally.
One of the biggest mistakes students make in IELTS writing is to try and show off and be overly ambitious with their grammar. This is because many students think that all of their sentences need to be ‘complex’ (they don’t!), and them not understanding what a ‘complex’ sentence is. Trying to write overly complicated sentences leads to grammar mistakes, and this will lead to lost marks in many different areas.
How many ‘complex’ sentences do you usually need in each paragraph?
What a ‘complex’ sentence actually is?
How to make ‘complex’ sentences?
Examples to help us understand and transfer this knowledge to our writing.
?What does the examiner expect
If we look at the examiners’ marking scheme it states that to get a band 6 for grammar, we need to:
• use a mix of simple and complex sentences.
For band 7, it states:
• Use a variety of complex structures.
This obviously means that we should use complex sentences in our writing, but it does not mean that we should try to make all of our sentences complex. All band 9 answers I have seen use a mixture of simple and complex sentences. The key is to know when to use them, and we will look at this below. But first, we need to understand what a complex sentence actually is.
?When should I use complex sentences
Generally, we should use simple sentences when making main points, normally at the beginning of a paragraph. We should then use complex sentences when expanding on the main point, for instance, when giving a supporting example or explaining our main point.
This is a question about whether ‘fast food’ or ‘junk food’ should be taxed at a higher rate than normal food.
‘Increasing taxes would raise prices and lower consumption. Fast food companies would pass on these taxes to consumers in the form of higher prices, which would lead to people being unable to afford junk food. For instance, the cost of organic food has proven prohibitively expensive for most people. Despite this, people in many developed countries, where the problem is most acute, can afford price hikes and will continue to eat high-fat meals.’
The first sentence is the ‘topic sentence’ and makes the main point. It is, therefore, acceptable for this to be a simple sentence.
The second sentence explains the main point and uses the word ‘and’ to link two simple sentences together to make one complex sentence.
The third sentence gives an example and uses the linking phrase ‘for instance’. The final sentence makes a concession (shows the limitation of the argument) and is also a complex sentence, linking more than one idea together.
This paragraph has a mix of simple and complex sentences and therefore satisfies the marking criteria.
?How do I make a complex sentence
Remember that a complex sentence is more than one simple sentence to make one sentence. We, therefore, need to learn and become confident using the various grammatical structures that allow us to do that. Below are a few ways we can link ideas together in a sentence.
To make a complex sentence, we normally should have two things- a dependent clause and an independent clause. A clause is a group of words with both a subject and a verb.
An example of a dependent clause is ‘….because the weather was cold.’ This is a dependent clause because it has a subject and a verb but doesn’t make any sense. To make sense, we need to add an independent clause.
As the name suggests, an independent clause can make sense independently. For example, ‘I wore a warm coat.’ If we combine these two clauses, we get a complex sentence- ‘I wore a warm coat because the weather was cold.’
As you can see, ‘complex’ sentences don’t have to be complicated. Let’s now look at other ways we can make complex sentences.
1. Relative Clauses
You can use relative clauses to give essential or extra information about a person, place, or thing. This makes our writing more fluent and more coherent. We do this by using relative pronouns like who, which and that. For example, ‘He’s the kind of person who is always friendly.’
Air pollution can cause health problems. Air pollution is largely caused by motor vehicles.
We can convert these two simple sentences into one complex sentence by using the word ‘which’.
Air pollution, which is mostly caused by motor vehicles, can cause health problems.
There is evidence that some people are more likely to smoke. These people have parents and friends who smoke.
We can link both of these sentences together by using the word ‘who’.
Evidence shows that people with parents and friends who smoke are more likely to smoke.
2. Subordinate Clauses
A subordinate clause can describe nouns and pronouns; describe verbs, adverbs, and adjectives; or act as the subject or object of another clause. They connect an independent clause with a dependent clause with words like as, because, while, until, even though, although, when and if.
3. Conditional Clauses
Also known as ‘If clauses’, they are used to express that the action in the main clause can only take place if a certain condition is met.
If I had a million dollars, I would quit my job.
I will be really happy if I pass the IELTS test.
These clauses are good for giving examples in IELTS writing part 2.
‘Increasing taxes would raise prices and lower consumption. Fast food companies would pass on these taxes to consumers in the form of higher prices, which would lead to people being unable to afford junk food. If the cost of organic food proves prohibitively expensive for most people, they will not buy it. Despite this, people in many developed countries, where the problem is most acute, can afford price hikes and will continue to eat high-fat meals.’
They are also useful for discussing unreal situations or speculating about results in the past or present.
There are four different kinds of conditionals which I will outline below:
Zero Conditionals are used to talk about true information or facts. We can use if or when to introduce the conditional.
Example: Nowadays, when we travel long distances, we usually use air travel.
First conditionals are used to talk about things in the present or future.
Example: If the city’s population grows, we will need to build more infrastructure.
Second Conditionals are used to talk about impossible things.
Example: If the sun didn’t come up tomorrow, we wouldn’t have any life on earth.
Third Conditionals are used to speculate about past events. It is often used when we regret something or to imagine a past unreal situation.
Example: The Second World War would have never happened if Germany had been given a fairer peace settlement in World War One.
4. Compound Sentences
Compound sentences consist of two independent clauses linked together with a conjunction such as ‘and’, ‘for’ or ‘but’.
I really want to study, but I’m too tired.
She got to the test centre early and did well on her IELTS test.
Some students think these sentences are too simple to count as complex, but they are wrong.
The crucial thing is to understand and be able to use these grammar structures before your IELTS test. Some students memorise many structures and try to insert them into their essays without considering how they work or if they are accurate. This will only lead to unnatural and incoherent sentences. Remember that your sentences must also be error-free, so only use structures you are confident using.
The key is to only use them appropriately. Concentrate on answering the question; if you know how to use these structures, they will flow naturally.
Academic Writing Task 1 Strategy
- Paraphrase the question. It is best to paraphrase the question in the first paragraph. You can do this by using synonyms.
- Write the overview. To write your overview, pick 3 or 4 of the main features and write about them generally without referencing any data.
- Support the main features. In a new paragraph, support the key features with the data in the information given to you.
- Check your work. Check your report for spelling and grammar mistakes. Make sure that the data you mentioned is also accurate!
Discourse Markers (Connectors/ Linking expressions)
1. Comparison: also, equally, similarly, likewise, compared with, as with, in the same way, like, in the same manner, in comparison
2. Addition: And, as well as, too, also, furthermore, too, what is more, moreover, meanwhile, in addition, additionally, besides, on top of that, another point is, apart from that, other than that, and then
3. Exemplification: for example, for instance, specifically, to illustrate, to exemplify, such as, including, namely, as a way of example, in the case of, as shown by, illustrated by, one example is
4. Sequencing: First(ly), first of all, to begin with, first and foremost, second(ly), third(ly), next, then, after that, meanwhile, subsequently, finally, lastly
5. Result: so, therefore, as a result, thus, hence, consequently, this means that, as a consequence
6. Contrast: in contrast, by contrast, conversely, on the other hand, but, yet, however, nonetheless, nevertheless, despite, despite the fact that, in spite of, although, even though, though, having said that, said that, while, whilst, it may be the case that, it is true that, although it is true that, it may appear, regardless, granted that, notwithstanding, whereas
7. Highlighting: in particular, especially, mainly, particularly, on top of that, above all, significantly, notably, indeed
8. Transition: Turning to, with regard to, with reference to, as far as … is/are concerned, regarding
9. Cause and effect: because, because of, as a result of, consequently, therefore, thus, hence, due to, due to the fact that, owing to
10. Summary: in short, on the whole, in other words, overall, generally, in general, in brief, in a nutshell, to put it in a nutshell, to conclude, in conclusion, in summary, to sum up, to summarize
11. Opinion adverbs: admittedly, by and large, fundamentally, in essence, in general, interestingly, presumably, primarily, seemingly, remarkably, ultimately, significantly, surprisingly, broadly, astonishingly
SPEAKING PART 2 SAMPLES
1. Describe an experience when you were disappointed
You should say:
When it was
What exactly happened
Why it was disappointing to you
And explain how you felt about it
I am not exactly one of those people who get disappointed easily over anything. But I guess that it is absolutely alright to be frustrated once in a while when there is a huge difference between what one expects to receive and what is being offered just as happened to me about a couple of years ago
It was in the year of 2018 when the capital city of my country had organized an international trade fair just like every other year. In fact, this tradition of organizing international trade fair is a regular feature among many other international events of my country for the last 25 years or so except, of course, I never really cared to attend it. However, I decided to attend the trade fair about a couple of years ago because a couple of my friends told me some top-rated brands and prestigious companies from around the world would participate in the fair
The fair authority even advertised that if we would spend a certain amount of money in buying any products from the trade fair, the companies would offer up to 30% discounts on all of their products. So, after hearing these lucrative offers and exciting news, I finally decided to head to the trade fair along with my friends. But, when I actually arrived there, I could easily find out that mostly “very mediocre” products and merchandises were being sold at that fair. I even felt that those “popular and prestigious” companies from different countries attended the fair to sell us only those products that they couldn’t sell in their own countries. Besides, the prices of most of the products there were very high. So, indeed, it was a truly disappointing experience
Anyway, after going to the fair, I felt like it was a total waste of time because I couldn’t really find a product, which I liked, at a reasonable price. Besides, I also felt that they trade fair authority duped us by advertising false promises in order to bring more and more customers to the fair
2. Describe a crowded place you have been to
You should say:
Where the place was
When you went there
With whom you went there
And explain how you felt about this crowded place
I live in a country which is one of the biggest in the world and has a comparatively fair distribution of population in major cities and towns. This is why I scarcely experience overcrowd in most of the places I go to. However, a few months ago I went to watch a football match at the largest stadium in our city and it was packed with thousands of people, and at a time I felt like I had never seen so many people at a single place in my life
It was a major football competition in our country which happened to take place last November and I decided to watch the semifinal of the tournament with two of my friends. As planned, we went to the stadium three hours before the match and was surprised to see the wave of people and long lines in the ticket counter. We had to move like ants in the line and I believe, it took us more than an hour just to enter the stadium due to the crowd and long queue
I was even more surprised when I entered the stadium as I could see people all around me of all ages. It was a friendly crowd but overwhelming for me. We had to shout to talk to each other as the noise was all around us. I felt good to be there and experienced a really thrilling semifinal which was quite entertaining and suspenseful till the end
3. Describe an important thing you have learnt recently
You should say:
What you have learnt
Where you learnt it from
How important the lesson was
And explain what impact this has on your mind
We, as human, constantly learn and this knowledge and our life experiences shape who we become or choose to become. Pretty recently, I have learned about something called “minimalism” from a documentary on TV and it was entertaining and thought-provoking. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to let me talk about it
Minimalism is not about becoming a hermit in a jungle or giving away everything we have. Rather it’s a concept that allows us to focus on more important aspects of life by breaking the chain of gaining and owing more and more. Statistically speaking, we are living in a rich era of affluence and prosperity and yet we are slaves to our desire of material gain and success that seems unattainable due to our changing goals and social pressure. We are living lives defined by capitalism and the corporate world and have little time to focus on what is truly important in our life like our family and friends, neighbours, relationship, peace and happiness. “Minimalism” thus tells us to get rid of things we do not need like three smartphones, 30 pairs of shoes and closet full of designers clothes, and focus on what makes us happy
I learned it from a TV documentary that I watched a few weeks ago and it was a top-class production. The way it was presented, the speakers who talked about it and the way it was made are simply outstanding. It was not just another TV show or movie that we often forget about just after watching it. It was deep and it covered an unpopular topics that people usually tend to avoid thinking about
The impact of the concept that it has had on me is tremendous. I no longer feel bad because I don’t own the latest car or don’t earn a six-figure salary. I have been thinking about the messages this documentary tried to gave us and it was astounding. I have started focusing on being happier and spending quality time with people I care and people who care about me rather than feeling bad about all the things I don’t have. Minimalism teaches about being happier with less because it’s always quality that counts, not the quantity
4. Describe a person you recently met again after a long time
You should say:
Who the person was
Where you met him/her
How you met him/her
And explain if you would like to get to know this person better
Life is like a big journey where we meet all kinds of people at different times and under different circumstances. Sometimes, we remember some of them while we forget about many others. I guess that forgetting about people, who we don’t see often, is just a human nature just like I forgot about the young banker, whom I met a long time ago
But, very recently, I met this young banker again at a local shopping centre when I went there to buy some regular household stuff. Interestingly, it was not me who recognized him first, but rather it was the young banker (not so young anymore though) who called me with my name from behind. I looked back, but initially, I had no clue as to who that person could really be. So, I just kept staring at him until he came forward and introduced me as the young banker who I met about 8 years ago at a bank in another city
Slowly but surely, my memories started to come back to me when he reminded me how I forgot to pick up my bank chequebook and left the city. It was then that I clearly remembered how that young banker fellow at that time called me from his bank and informed me about my lost chequebook. Later on, this kind banker actually took all the pains to mail me my lost chequebook in a courier service
Anyway, after meeting him again at the shopping centre after such a long time, I felt like he deserved a very special thank from me again for his sincere efforts to send me back my bank chequebook
Well, after meeting the young banker, I learned a very important lesson which was that we should always remember the good deeds of the people if not the people themselves. I didn’t care to remember the banker, but the banker cared to remember me, which proves that he is a genuinely nice, responsible and caring person. And, if we don’t like to get to know a nice, responsible and caring person, then who we will
5. Describe a software you often use
You should say:
What it is
What you use it for
What benefits it brings to you
And explain why it is an important software to you
I think that, in these days, it is really very hard to imagine a life without having some sort of access to a computer because it allows us to use so many different kinds of software and tools to make our life easy. Of course, different people use different kinds of software and applications, depending on their level of skills and needs, for different purposes, but when it comes to a person like me, with rather limited computer skill, Microsoft Office is my saviour
Of course, it is not really necessary to introduce “Microsoft Office”, but just to make things clear, it is a collection of handy tools, which was first developed on the 1st of August of 1988 by Bill Gates, for the use of business and office works
But, I didn’t learn about this software or start to use it until early 2005 when I started school. Since then, I have played with this software and used its applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint at every opportunity. Today, as an Office Manager of a prestigious company in my country, I use “Microsoft Word” to create all sorts of documents in order to communicate with my fellow workers and superiors
However, this particular application called “Microsoft word” comes real handy when I prepare a periodic report for my bosses, along with the excel charts on it, in order to show the progress of the production of our chocolate cake factory and the productivity of our workers. Sometimes, I also use PowerPoint to make some presentation to my fellow workers to show the overall progress of our works and efforts in order to motivate my workers
Anyway, this software is really important for me because it provides great peace of mind for me because I know that I can take care of all of my office works quickly and easily. Besides, the best thing about this software is that I can use it at my home also to take care of important office documents and reports during weekends
6. Describe an interesting conversation you had with someone you never knew before
You should say:
Who this person was
What type of conversation you had
How you met this person and how the conversation started
And explain how you felt about having this conversation with a stranger
I am not exactly a very outgoing person or a “social bug” who likes to socialize with strangers or meet everybody around, let alone having conversations with them. But, on one occasion, I did talk with a complete stranger, at a time, when I was least expecting it
I met him at a local airport in my country when we both were travelling to one of the major cities in my country about a year ago or so. We both were waiting at the departure lounge, sitting next to each other, in order to board our flight. Suddenly, the gentleman, probably in his mid 40’s, requested me to look after his luggage and belongings so that he could go and grab some fresh coffee from one of the coffee stores at the airport. I reluctantly agreed to his request, but I didn’t forget to ask him politely to return as soon as possible to attend his luggage and belongings, as I didn’t really like to take any responsibility for the stuff of other people, let alone a complete stranger
The gentleman came back quickly with two cups of coffee instead of just one. He offered me one, and I, again, reluctantly accepted it. It was at the point that he introduced himself to me as a very successful businessman. Anyway, after that little introduction, I told him that he shouldn’t have left his belongings to a complete stranger like me. In response, he simply told me that he had become a successful and happy man, both in his personal and professional life, mainly because he had learned to trust others. Needless to say, after listening to such a positive response, I felt really embarrassed because of my poor treatment of him earlier
Anyway, after having a conversation with the stranger, I felt that I needed to become more broad-minded towards others to learn more about the valuable lessons of life. Besides, I also realized that we all need to trust somebody at some point in our life if we really want to become happy and successful in life
7. Describe a time when you went to an event and arrived early
You should say:
What the event was
Where it was
Why you arrived early
And say how you felt about arriving early
Some members of my family tell me that I was born late. No, seriously! I mean, my birth was delayed because of some health complication of my dear mother. I guess that’s probably the reason, I arrive late on most occasions despite my best efforts and intention. But, today, I would like to talk about a time when I actually managed to arrive early by overcoming all odds and challenges
To tell you the story, I would never forget about the day when my dear elder brother was celebrating his 12th wedding anniversary at his home, about a hundred kilometers away from my hometown, because it was on this occasion that I actually managed to arrive at an event early – a lot early
By the way, even though, my brother is considerably older than me, we always have enjoyed a very special and friendly relationship between us. So, he had threatened me earlier that if I’d arrived at his wedding anniversary late again, he would have simply packed me in a bag and thrown me into a gravity-defying spacecraft so that I could finally gain some “speed” in my life! Of course, it was a joke from my elder brother, but I could probably feel his frustration also a bit because on all the previous occasions, whether he was celebrating his birthdays or wedding anniversaries, I had usually been one of the last persons to arrive
I am not too sure that an elder brother would actually appreciate such a callous behaviour from a younger brother like me, whom he loves so much. So, around this time, I took it upon myself as a challenge to arrive early just for the sake of making my elder brother happy
Anyway, after arriving early, I felt like I was finally coming of age and becoming a responsible person to respect the wishes of my loved ones. I also started to imagine how my elder brother would actually react after seeing me arriving so early. All in all, it was a feeling, worth a million dollars
8. Describe a person who has apologized to you
You should say:
When it was
Who the person was
Why this person apologized to you
And explain how you felt about it
People make mistakes. But the burden of such mistakes doesn’t weigh too much on the mistaking persons if they sincerely apologize to the affected persons. Today, I would like to talk about one of those sincere persons who apologized to me about a few months ago
He was a cashier in a super shop – a super shop which I have been visiting quite frequently for the last couple of years or so. But, the cashier, I am talking about, was a newcomer since I saw him for the first time on that eventful day when I bought a lot of groceries. In fact, that new cashier checked me out on that day
However, interestingly, when I made the payment to the cashier, I felt like I was paying a little extra than what I normally used to pay for roughly the same quantity of merchandises on the previous occasions. But, I chose to keep quiet, thinking that perhaps I bought some additional merchandise items, or the prices of some of the grocery items had changed. So, I just took my grocery and left the shop
But, after reaching my home, I became a bit too curious and checked the prices of my grocery items. Suddenly, I noticed that one of the merchandises was over-priced on the receipt which was handed to me by the cashier before leaving the shop. Luckily, the super shop was not far away from my home. So, I went back to the cashier the next day in a relaxed mood and told him about the wrong price, he charged me for one of my grocery items. After learning his mistake, he immediately apologized to me very sincerely, telling me that he had just started his new job on that day
To be honest, I wasn’t exactly expecting him to apologize to me like that since it was not such a big deal to me. Besides, I knew it very well that this kind of mistake could happen, especially, by a person who was new at his job. Nevertheless, I felt glad that he actually genuinely apologized to me
9. Describe a time when you were in a public place and you overheard a stranger talking on the phone
You should say:
Where this happened
When it happened
What the person was talking about
And explain how you felt about hearing the conversation
I always try my best not to overhear any conversation whether they come from a stranger or the people, I know. In fact, I consider that doing such a thing is generally the characteristic of a nosy person, and I have set a standard for myself not to be nosy at any time. But, unfortunately, sticking to this standard just may not be easy, when you are in a public place, and when strangers around you talk about all sorts of things, just as I couldn’t do it on a few occasions
Anyway, it wasn’t like I was actually trying to overhear the conversation of that stranger when I was sitting at a food court of a shopping mall and enjoying some gourmet foods about a few months ago. Rather, I felt like the stranger, talking over his smartphone, was actually trying to attract attention from other people around him by boasting about how he tricked one of his fellow co-workers to cover for him at his work by making up some fabricated stories (I could call them just some “lies” in plain English)
The conversation had continued for almost 15 minutes, which provided complete details to the person on the other end as to how the stranger was planning to use his “holidays” into finding some real estate properties in another city instead of actually seeing his “imaginary” seriously sick uncle. At one point of his conversation, I even felt like moving away from the stranger after giving him some clues on how people around him were actually listening to his conversation, but I decided against it and just wanted to finish my food as soon as possible and leave that place
Anyway, I felt a bit awkward and also embarrassed at the same time because I overheard a conversation which was quite distasteful by my standard. I also felt like we all have some kinds of secrets, and we all should try to keep them as such, by trying not to talk about them in any kind of public places, because our secrets can always be used against us
10. Describe an occasion when you had to wait for a long time for someone or something to arrive
You should say:
Who or what you were waiting for
How long you had to wait
Why you had to wait a long time
And explain how you felt about waiting for such a long time
People say that patience is a great virtue, so I try to be patient as often as I can, even when I have no reason or incentive to wait. But, for better or worse, waiting for something or someone is a reality of life, and we have to wait, no matter how much we dislike it, just as I didn’t like it when one of my fellow co-workers kept me waiting for a long period of time for no valid reasons
It was about a few months ago when this happened at my work. Anyway, it was Friday, so I was naturally a bit excited to leave my office as soon as I could and enjoy the weekend. But, suddenly, one of my fellow workers jumped in front of me just an hour before the closing of our office and asked me to loan my motorbike to him. He told me that he needed to go out for some emergency reasons and he would come back just in time before the office had closed. So, I just gave the key of my motorbike to my co-worker in good faith only, of course, to find out that he just couldn’t properly value my good faith
In fact, instead of showing up after an hour, he actually showed up after several hours. Anyway, I tried to keep my calm when he came back and asked him what really had caused him to delay for such a long time. In response, he said that he had gone to see a friend at the hospital, and he just got stuck there. He also politely apologized for the delay
Anyway, after waiting for such a long time, I naturally felt a bit frustrated and even annoyed at the irresponsible act of my co-worker, especially, at a time when I was planning to leave my office as soon as possible. However, after knowing that he went to visit his friend at the hospital, I felt like I lost very valuable several hours of my life in a good cause, and that was to help someone out during a crisis time.
Describe a famous person.
Celine Dion is my idol. She was born and raised in Quebec, Canada. She started her singing career at the age of 12. At the beginning, Celine was only singing in her family’s restaurant, but very soon, her tape was sent to a music manager Rene Angelil who later on became her husband. Rene was so impressed and was moved to tears by Celine’s voice, so he decided to help Celine with her career. Therefore,
Celine Dion became a rising star in Canada.
Before 1990, Celine couldn’t speak English properly, so all of her albums were in French. But as a fast learner, Celine started to sing in English in 1990 and penetrated the US market very quickly. So far practically the majority of her songs became big hits and so many of them won awards for her. Nearly all her French and English albums have been really well-liked
I like Celine Dion so much because she is talented and has a good sense of humor. In 2010 I went to Las Vegas to see her live show, and it was really a marvelous experience! Celine performed five nights a week in Las Vegas at that time, which truly amazed me. As a successful singer, she has been hardworking all her life. Whenever she releases a new album, I am always the first person to purchase it, so apparently, I am her huge fan.
Celine learned English as a second language very well, which also encourages me to learn English well. She is a real role model for me. I am also interested in music because that’s my passion, too. I hope I can also have some success in this industry in the future.
Describe a party.
I went to an Old Hollywood party last month. It was a theme party called “Love the Journey”. At the grand entrance, cocktails and champagne were served. Because everybody was dressed up like a movie star in the 30s, people were busy taking pictures at the entrance too. The music at the party was also very old-school. The songs were mainly jazz music from decades ago, and I really enjoy the ambience created by beautiful music like that. People started to dance to the music very quickly, and it felt so romantic and elegant. Later on, there was a karaoke session, so many songs were presented by participants. My favourite songs were “What a Wonderful World”, “Moon River” and “As Time Goes By”. I also sang a song in front of the audience. The song is called “Loving You”. I did pretty well and hit the high notes perfectly. So I guess others were quite impressed by that. Anyway, I’m crazy about music and singing, so that’s really my thing. The most exciting part of the party was the game called “Truth or Dare”. All of us gathered in a circle and took turns to play the game. When it was my turn, I chose “Truth”. Fortunately, the question wasn’t too embarrassing, so I did okay. That was really a wonderful night. What a memorable experience! I enjoyed every minute of that party. Although I’m not a party animal, I am into theme parties like this.
Describe your favourite TV show.
My favourite TV show is Sex and the City which is an American romantic comedy produced by HBO. It was on TV from 1998 to 2004, and it’s still available now on the Internet. The show is about four charming women in New York City. They are close friends. Carrie is a sex columnist who writes for a newspaper; Samantha is a public relations agent; Charlotte is a gallery owner; Miranda is an ambitious lawyer. They have very different personalities.
Each episode is about twenty minutes long, so it never gets boring. The conversations in this show are hilarious. That’s why I really like the show. Oh, the soundtrack is also fantastic. Sex and the City won so many awards because it was extremely sensational. Many people like this show because these four women always wear stylish clothes and trendy high heels, which is surely a feast for the eyes. I like this show very much because Carrie Bradshaw is my idol. One day I want to become a columnist and write for a newspaper or a magazine. I always love writing and I’m working hard to become a writer just like Carrie. Also, writing for the media is a great idea because that’s like doing content marketing while getting paid. That means I can promote myself or my own business, and at the same time the magazine or newspaper pays me money. I really want to live a fabulous life like that in the future, so I’m going to have a plan and work towards my goal.
Describe your favourite website.
My favourite website is YouTube. I’m pretty sure everyone has heard a lot about it because it’s currently the second biggest search engine in the world. I really like YouTube mainly because it’s so entertaining and educational. It provides a wealth of information such as self-help content, music and news. Besides, I can easily subscribe to any channel that I like so that I wouldn’t miss any new videos that I enjoy. The layout of YouTube is very well-organised and user-friendly. I absolutely adore YouTube because it allows me to download any video that I would like to save on my computer or mobile phone. In this way, I can easily watch those videos whenever I want without Internet access. YouTube belongs to Google, the biggest online company in the world. That’s why I can use YouTube as long as I have a Google account, which is very handy.
Right now I’m learning how to make videos by myself, so I will launch my own YouTube channel next month. I’m quite confident because my YouTube videos will focus on my music. I will play the piano while singing pop songs in my videos, so hopefully I can have a large following pretty soon. My confidence is backed up by my competence, as I have been learning how to play the piano since 2001. Music is my passion and I’ve realised that YouTube is the perfect platform for me to create my own fans who will follow me in my future career in this industry. I’m really hooked on YouTube. It’s so incredibly powerful.
Describe a city you would like to visit.
As far as I’m concerned, all people, regardless of their background, have heard something about Los Angeles, not just because of its Disneyland, but also because of its Hollywood. Obviously, Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities in the United States. It’s the most well-known city in California. Los Angeles means “the angels”
in Spanish. That probably means Spanish people like this city very much. Indeed, nearly 50% of its population are from South America where Spanish is spoken. Los Angeles is renowned for its cultural diversity. People of all races live in this city. What fascinates me most is the American modernity. Certainly, the United States is a young country, and Los Angeles promotes its modern lifestyle extremely well.
The city of Los Angeles is the hub of California’s financial world. It’s also a major transport centre and a port. Los Angeles has the busiest airport in California.
I am eager to visit Los Angeles because I really want to meet those Hollywood movie stars. In Los Angeles, many people see celebrities in the street because there are just so many of them! So I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to go to Los Angeles and experience this world-class city first-hand. Some of my friends like going shopping in Los Angeles because it’s a mecca for fashion lovers. Of course, almost every famous brand can be found in Los Angeles, like Gucci, Chanel, Dior… you name it. Los Angeles is the best city in the world, hands down.
Describe a library that you have visited.
I have visited the library in the city that I live in. It’s a public library located at the city centre. It’s my favourite place in the city because there are so many things to do here. The library has a huge glass curtain wall, so the exterior is gorgeous. In fact, its interior is neat too. The entrance hall has a self-service desk where I can borrow and return books easily, so I simply scan my library card to
complete those tasks very quickly. Of course, there is still a circulation desk with a staff member to help visitors who don’t want to use the self-service desk. There are many reading rooms in this library. I often study in one of these reading rooms because the ambience there is perfect. Sometimes I even book a group study room for my friends so that we can discuss our group projects together. The photocopy room in the library is pretty cool as well. I can print or photocopy documents at a low price, and scanning documents is a free service. Everything is so handy there. Because the library has such a refreshing and relaxing atmosphere, I visit this library at least once a week. It is really a fount of wisdom which provides a wealth of books. In my opinion, this library is a mecca for knowledge-craving people like me. My Number One value is knowledge and growth, so I really enjoy reading. Borrowing books from the library saves me a lot of money – that’s why I’m a regular there.
Describe the apartment or house you live in.
I live in an apartment in the city. It’s quite average, without anything too fancy. But its location is seriously perfect because it’s in the centre of the city where everything is so accessible. Apart from its convenient location, I also like my apartment because it’s small and cosy. In fact, I’m not a fan of big houses, for I don’t like cleaning a big house which simply wastes a lot of space. Apparently, I dislike doing housework, so a small apartment doesn’t require too much time when it comes to doing weekly housework. My apartment has a sitting room, a kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom.
With all functionalities that I need, this apartment affords me a satisfying lifestyle that I really enjoy every day. Also, my bedroom has a beautiful view over the city, because I live on the 12th floor. Indeed, I like high-rise buildings like this and I love the way of life in the city.
My apartment has a lot of decorations. For example, there is a vision board in my sitting room. On this vision board, there are a range of photos and meaningful words which represent what I want to achieve in the future. So I can see my goals and plans on a daily basis. The vision board also includes my identity statement and daily rituals that I must complete. I justlike keeping myself inspired all the time. I made the vision board all by myself, so I’m very proud of that. Also, my bedroom has many paintings on the wall. I love art so much that I have bought a lot of paintings when I was travelling overseas. Living in this apartment all by myself is incredibly relaxing and enjoyable.
Describe something that made you laugh.
I’m so into The Ellen Show because Ellen DeGeneres is the funniest woman in the world. Her talk show features interviews with celebrities and politicians, pranks as well as surprises. It’s a well-known TV show because it’s not only popular in the United States, but also in other countries. Thanks to Ellen’s great sense of humour,
this funny show has millions of viewers all over the world. I still remember when Tylor Swift was on The Ellen Show, Ellen DeGeneres had a camera in the ladies’ toilet and Ellen was hiding behind the toilet door. So when Tylor Swift went to the toilet, Ellen suddenly scared her. Tylor Swift was so scared that she literally fell on the floor. That was such a classic prank! Ellen did loads of pranks like this in most episodes of her show. In one episode, she sent someone to hide in a garbage bag and the hidden person suddenly started to dance on the floor when someone was walking towards them. Of course, that prank was quite successful. Sometimes when Ellen’s celebrity guest was sitting on the couch and talking to her, she sent someone to hide in the plant behind the guest who would be really scared by the person in the plant, which made the show very fun and engaging. However, Ellen never scared politicians such as President Obama, because if that happened, Ellen must be in serious trouble. Also, Ellen dances a lot on her show, and her dance moves are hilarious as well! The majority of Ellen’s fans are women because her talk show is a
day-time TV show which attracts housewives who stay at home. Ellen is probably the most famous lesbian in America, and some straight women like her so much that they actually said they would turn lesbian just to be with Ellen, which is quite amusing.
Describe something that you are good at.
I’m very good at writing. In fact, I’ve been a freelance writer since two years ago. Therefore, I have written for many websites who were looking for contributors. Most of the articles written by me are about business, career success, productivity and finances. Recently, I have started to write articles about dating advice and relationships, as I’m interested in exploring different areas. I also have my own blog and I write one blog post per week. Now I’m building my own online audience who are eager to read my blog article every Sunday. Yes, they look forward to reading my blog post every weekend, which makes me really excited – they hold me accountable, too! I think the reason why I’m good at writing is because I like reading. I always enjoy reading good books such as fictions and non-fiction books. As a fast reader, I usually read a book a week, and I take a wealth of notes. I organise my notes very well by storing all useful information in one notebook. I like making notes while reading. That’s how I learn. Therefore, whenever I need to write something, I simply take out my notes and come up with great ideas very quickly. Since writing is mental work which can also be physically exhausting, I take breaks throughout the day. Yes, I have a break every 50 minutes, so that I don’t have to sit in front of my computer all day long. I think managing my time like this is so key. Sometimes I get carried away while writing a long piece, so I have to remind myself to have a rest. In this way, I can keep my energy high and I also become more creative as a result.
Describe something you hope to learn.
I hope to learn painting. I’ve always wanted to learn this skill since many years ago. When I was very young, I did lots of portraits and self-portraits by myself. Nobody was teaching me painting, but I just loved doing it. It’s my natural inclination, my real passion. So now I plan to learn painting soon. Once I have made enough money
to hire a teacher, I will start to learn painting in my spare time. I would like to learn oil painting. I’m interested in landscape painting and still life painting. I often imagine that one day I will have my own studio and gallery. I hope I can make a living by working as an artist, because if my job is my passion and real hobby, then every day will be a holiday – I won’t need to work for a day anymore in my life. That’s just so glamorous. Sometimes I visit a few galleries near my place to look for inspirations. One gallery features abstract paintings, whereas the other gallery presents representational paintings. Both types inspire me so much. The most famous painting in the world is Mona Lisa which is a half- length painting. Although it dates back to the Italian Renaissance, today in the Louvre, it still attracts numerous admirers from all over the world. Mona Lisa is special because of her enigmatic smile. In the future, I’m going to see this painting in the Louvre and I’m sure I’ll adore this masterpiece. Leonardo Da Vinci is my hero because he produced Mona Lisa, the best masterpiece. I really hope that I can become an excellent artist like him.
Describe your personality.
In general, I’m an outgoing and gregarious person with very good social skills. I believe that having social skills is of vital importance in this day and age, as nobody can afford to be an island anymore in the 21st century. I wouldn’t say I’m a party animal, but I do go to parties quite frequently. Usually I arrive at the party very early so that I can meet people who are already there, especially the organisers of the party – these people are very important. Then when others arrive at the party gradually, I invite them to join our conversation. That’s how I make new friends by going to events alone. I believe that my network is my net worth, so I try my best to build a
powerful network that can help me with my career success. Who I know is just as important as what I do, because people around me can easily become the gateway to opportunities. So I learn new communication skills all the time by reading a lot of books about charisma, human dynamics and psychology. I think this has helped me to improve my interaction with people on different occasions. Having many friends also boosts my confidence, as I feel that I am
someone who is needed by people. I guess that means I’m a valuable person. Certainly, I also help my friends in many ways because I love adding value too. Well, everyone is multidimensional. I also enjoy spending time by myself. For example, I like staying at home and watching TV on Friday nights. But most of the time, I prefer going out to socialise with others. Meeting new people excites me; making new friends gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
Describe a wedding you have attended.
My sister got married last year. I went to her wedding which was held at the beach at 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning. The ceremony was simple but chic, as it was a western-style ceremony. The music was chosen by my sister, so it was very modern and solemn – typical western music. After the officiant made some opening remarks, the groom, my sister’s husband, made his way to the altar. I still remember his black tuxedo which was a very classic formal outfit. The best man was my friend Joe who was waiting at the altar. About ten minutes later, the Wedding March started to be played in the background. Then the maid of honour and the flower girls entered the
ceremony. They were my colleague and her twin daughters. My sister, the bride, entered in a breathtaking wedding gown, escorted by our dad. Her wedding dress was a present from my mum – it was a family heirloom – the colour was champagne rather than white. That’s my favourite colour. My sister believes in western tradition, so on her wedding day she had to wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. That’s considered to be good luck in western culture. Like I said, her wedding dress was something old, and her shoes were something
new. Also, she borrowed a bracelet from me, so that was something borrowed. Then she was wearing a blue flower in her hair, which was something blue. When my sister was walking down the aisle, everyone was so moved. My mum was literally moved to tears because finally she witnessed her oldest daughter’s wedding. Then my dad left the bride at the altar with the groom and the officiant. The couple exchanged wedding rings as well as wedding vows at the altar, and then they kissed each other and were pronounced husband and wife by the officiant. After that, my sister and my brother-in-law were showered with golden confetti. Later on the wedding banquet was held at Hilton Hotel near the beach. The hall had a magnificent view. I really enjoyed the whole experience.
Describe a radio program.
Well, my favourite radio program is called Love Life on iHeartRadio which is an Internet radio platform owned by an American company with its headquarters in New York. Apart from the United States, it’s also popular in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. This radio show is really funny because the host is a British dating coach called Matthew Hussey. Matthew Hussey is a love guru who knows everything about dating and relationships. Initially, he was a confidence coach who helped thousands of men, but since 2008, he has been giving dating advice for women. On this radio show called Love Life, each episode features one woman’s telephone conversation with Matthew Hussey. She asks one question, and Matthew answers her question in detail. Every episode is about fifteen minutes long, so I can listen to the show during breakfast time in the morning. That’s a very interesting way to start my day, because Matthew Hussey’s advice is actually beyond dating advice. He often talks about how to apply what he teaches us in other areas of life, such as work and social life in general. Occasionally, no woman calls the studio. Instead, Matthew Hussey gives some very powerful content regarding personal development on the show. Sometimes, he talks about time management; sometimes he talks about productivity. In fact, I like his other content more than his dating advice because dating advice tends to be corny after listening to it repeatedly. Generally speaking, this radio program has helped me to understand psychology and human dynamics better. I highly recommend this radio show.
Describe a wealthy person.
The rich person that I’d like to talk about is Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur in the United States. When he was only three years old, he moved to America from Soviet Union. As an immigrant, life was hard when he was young. His family were living in a studio apartment – pretty difficult for eight family members. He couldn’t speak English at that time, so he was bullied by his classmates at school. When he was in middle school, he started to sell baseball cards in a shopping mall every weekend. So he was making about three thousand dollars each week. At that time, he was an F student at school because he couldn’t pass any subject at all. His teacher told him that he was a loser, unfortunately, and nobody knew he was making a lot of money. In his early twenties he took over his father’s wine business, and he grew the business from 3 million dollars to 50 million dollars a year by 2005. In 2006, Gary realised that YouTube is the best place to do marketing, so he started Wine Library TV channel on YouTube, which helped his wine business a lot. Gary works very hard. He works from 6am to 11pm every day and rarely has a holiday. He says he is the ultimate workaholic and he hates holidays. Somehow I think he is awesome because he knows what he wants and he is a real hustler who works with high energy and determination. Gary founded VaynerMedia with his brother AJ Vaynerchuk in 2009. It’s a social media-focused digital agency, because Gary invested in many social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Gary has published four best-selling books which are all about business and entrepreneurship. This is probably the most popular topic in contemporary society.
Describe your ideal job.
My ideal job is to be a freelance writer. I always wanted to write professionally when I was young, so now I’m working hard to improve my writing skills and techniques so that I can make my dream come true one day. I think in order to be an outstanding writer, I must cultivate my creativity and expand my outlook. I’d like to focus on creative writing such as poems. Also, I’m interested in writing blog articles which are very popular on the Internet. Because I have an inquiring mind, I have read a wealth of books regarding self-help, personal development, literature, and so on. Therefore, I would say I’m a knowledgeable and well-read person who has the potential to write remarkable pieces. I’m quite capable and efficient when it comes to computing skills, and I type really fast. Consequently, I’m sure I have the right skills to be an excellent writer in the 21st century. Being a freelance writer means having freedom in life, which is something that I have always wanted. Because of modern technology, I can easily work from home and build my home-based freelance writing business. My plan is to set up an account at Upwork.com which helps me to find clients who are looking for longer articles, and then set up an account at Fiverr.com which has more clients looking for shorter articles. With these
two platforms, I’ll be able to work at home with so much flexibility every day.
Being a freelance writer also means being a self-employed entrepreneur. I don’t like to be told what to do and I’d like to plan my own schedule, so I reckon running my own business is the best way to live my life on my terms. I am working hard in order to fulfil my potential because I’ve already found my calling.
Describe your favourite book.
My favourite book is The Happiness Trap written by Dr Russ Harris. This book is about how to improve our mental health which is a frequent topic of discussion in this day and age. Whenever I feel stressed out, I always turn to this book for help. The main idea of this book is mindfulness. That means an individual should live in the moment right now and be an observer. When we are able to observe what’s going on, we are less likely to be mentally chaotic. That’s how we alleviate our pain and stress. Another very enlightening message in this book is values. There is a values test in the book. After doing the test, I realised that my Top 3 values are knowledge, experience and connection. So the author’s suggestion is I should be mindful on a daily basis, especially when difficult situations arise, and then take actions according to my values. For instance, if I feel nervous while preparing for an exam, I can take a deep breath and simply observe how I feel rather than struggle with my feelings. Then I look at my values: knowledge, experience and connection. Based on my values, I can learn something new, experience something exciting or talk to someone I care about. These kind of activities make me truly happy. Dr Russ Harris is a physician and therapist in Australia, although he was born in the United Kingdom. He is a leading expert on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy which is a very important concept in modern psychology. In fact, I find Acceptance and Commitment Therapy very similar to Buddhism, because they share similar wisdom and practice such as being okay with things that are out of our control and meditation exercise. Now if you ask me how I am able to cope with issues that I can’t change in my life, my answer is, “The trick is not minding.” Because I’m mindful and I’m observing what’s going on in my life, I feel less attached to my problems and that’s why not minding the pain is the key.
Describe a trip you took recently.
Recently I went to Florida, the United States. So far it was the best trip I’ve ever had in my life. As the flight was international long haul, I purchased business class fare. Virgin Australia is the best airline in the Southern Hemisphere, so I had a bed on the plane. In fact, there was a desk, a TV and a bed – and that was my seat! I didn’t enjoy watching TV because I’m not a fan of any TV shows on the plane, but I certainly enjoyed reading books in bed. The food served by Virgin Australia was scrumptious and the wine was seriously perfect as well. When I was flying from Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale, the flight was upgraded to first class, so it was even more refreshing with better service. Fort Lauderdale is a city in Florida, and it’s famous for its beautiful beach, sunshine and parties. I was partying very hard with a few celebrities
there, so I really had a blast. I went to a beach party, a tropical cocktail party, a pool party and an Old Hollywood party. My trip was very well- planned, hence I really had a good time. The only problem I had was the annoying jet-lag, because Florida is 13 hours and 30 minutes behind Adelaide, Australia. That was a bit tiring, but overall the experience was invigorating because I was so excited! There are so many tourist attractions in Florida and the scenery was spectacular and breathtaking. I also met many new people and they have become my new friends. The beach in Florida is the best I’ve ever seen in my life. I really enjoyed the tranquil and serene ocean early in the morning with a breeze sweeping across the ocean waves – it was so peaceful and soothing. In general, I think the trip was rewarding because I rejuvenated myself in the process.
Describe a picnic in a park.
Last weekend my friends and I had a picnic in a park near my place. It was a breezy, shiny Saturday morning, so we decided to have brunch in the park. My friend Caroline brought fish and chips; Tiffany brought a salad; I brought a chocolate cake. The food was scrumptious and balanced. The weather was very nice and warm, so we were eating and chatting for a few hours. The grass in the park was neatly-mowed, and some other people were also there. Interestingly, two boys were also having a meal in the park near us, and I realised that they were my neighbours. So we invited them to join us. As we forgot to bring any drinks, they offered to share their drinks with us. Then we had some lemonade and coke together. Tiffany is very health-conscious, so she decided to drink water instead and went to a shop near the park to buy a bottle of spring water. Maybe I should learn from her, because I really like sweet food and I reckon eating more wholesome food is probably better for me. Nowadays most people prefer talking online, so they chat on Facebook. But my friends and I like catching up with each other more – maybe we are a bit old-fashioned, but we just like face-to-face communication which is still very important nowadays. Compared with eating in a fancy restaurant, I like having a picnic in the park more, as it reminds me of my childhood. Also, it’s so much cheaper. When I was young, I used to go out with my classmates and had a lot of fun outside the house. We were playing in the nature. So I believe I should still spend more time outside my home and enjoy more fresh air and sunshine.
Describe a piece of interesting news.
Yesterday I saw a piece of very interesting news on TV. The news was about how some online dating websites are inundated with money- worshipping concepts and ideas. Brandon Wade, a Chinese American businessman, runs three online
dating sites which are really unusual. One of his websites, seekingarrangement.com, is best characterised by sugar babies looking for sugar daddies, which means it is a website for young and attractive women to find rich and generous men so that they can build mutually beneficial relationships. Another website of his is whatsyourprice.com, which is helping successful and wealthy men to find sexy, single women who charge fees when they go out with men. His third website is misstravel.com which helps women to find affluent men that are happy to pay women who would like to accompany them while travelling. Because his websites are all doing very well internationally, his business has attracted the attention from the media. As a result, a TV show criticizes this phenomenon, saying the theme of his dating websites is morally wrong. Yet many netizens claim that Brandon Wade is contributing to the society because traditional relationships are full of stress and drama, whereas Brandon Wade provides people with the opportunity to find balanced relationships in a relatively easy and efficient way. The fact that Brandon Wade’s websites are so popular means individuals in modern-day society are highly stressed. Consequently, people want to alleviate their stress by finding something straight-forward without playing any games. Instead of criticising Brandon Wade himself, weshould question why his business is so successful.
Band 9 Sample Answers Speaking Part 1 Including Idioms
Q: Why did you choose that career?
“I didn’t really want to study law, but I was the only one in my family ever to get high grades in their A-levels. So my mother sat me down one day and said it was either medicine or law. So I went to a hospital on work experience and fainted when I saw the sight of blood. I’m too squeamish for medicine, so I decided just to bite the bullet and study law.”
Q: Why did you change careers?
“To be honest, compared to practicing law, teaching English is a piece of cake. To give you a concrete example, to qualify as a lawyer takes around six years of study and work experience. To qualify as an English teacher only takes six weeks. The pay obviously isn’t as good, but the students, the clients are much nicer and friendlier.”
Q: Have you ever given jewelry to someone as a gift?
“Yes, I actually bought my wife a diamond ring last Christmas. So my wife’s birthday is in November and Christmas is obviously in December. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and buy one present for her birthday and Christmas. And she was very happy with that because she got one nice, expensive ring rather than two less expensive gifts.”
Q: Have you ever received jewelry as a gift?
“If you count watches as jewelry, then yes. For my last birthday, my 40th birthday, my wife bought me a very special watch that I’ve been looking at and desiring for many, many years. The funny story about that is that my credit card and my wife’s credit card are the same. So whenever my wife bought it, it pinged on my phone and I got an alert from my favorite watch boutique, and it was the exact amount of money that was for this watch because I had been looking at this watch for ages. So the phone let the cat out of the bag a little bit, but it was still a very nice gift and a nice surprise.
Q: Do you think you will have the same career in the future?
“Probably not, because with the developments in AI recently, I don’t think there are going to be IELTS teachers or even any teachers in the future. I think it would be very foolish for me to put all my eggs in one basket and just hope for the best and hope that IELTS and teaching lasts forever. But honestly, I don’t think it will.”
Q: How often do you go out with friends?
“I used to go out nearly every night, but since I’ve had kids, it’s really once in a blue moon. Most of my friends have either settled down with kids like me, or they have moved away. So it’s quite rare to have an occasion where a group of friends are all together at the same time. Sometimes at Christmas, when a lot of our friends visit Ireland during the Christmas period, or in the summertime when a lot of our friends have time off, I might go out, but it is quite a rare occasion these days.”
Q: Do you think you changed as you got older?
“Yes, I used to burn the candle at both ends. I had a very much work hard, play hard attitude because I was a lawyer. Lawyers are expected to work 80 to 100 hours a week. But we would often go out to bars and restaurants after work to blow off steam and to destress, which isn’t really sustainable. Now, I do still burn the midnight oil. I work very, very hard on my career, but you’re more likely to find me tucked up in bed by 9 PM than to be out partying.”
Q: Do you own or rent your home?
“We actually rent our home. We could afford to buy a home, but we really value our independence and freedom. If you own a home, you’re kinda stuck in that location because it can take a very long time to sell that home. But if you rent, you can move anywhere at the drop of a hat.”
Q: What do you dislike about your job?
“The thing I dislike most about my job is dealing with people who only focus on the negative, especially when they are given negative feedback. That could be students, that could be employees, but people who make mistakes and don’t learn from them. So for example, I give a lot of feedback on student essays, and some students see mistakes and they’re like, great, now I know what my mistakes are and I can improve. Other students will just cry about it for days and they’ll cry about it for weeks. They’re like, I’m going to fail. It’s like, there’s no point crying over spilt milk. You made the mistake, now learn from it.
Q: How often do you buy new clothes?
“Very rarely actually, because I’m a firm believer in you can’t judge a book by its cover. And we should judge people not on what clothes they wear and their appearance, but by their character and the things that come out of their mouths. My wife firmly disagrees with this because she says someone who gets millions of views on YouTube shouldn’t be wearing the same shirt every day. So she does encourage me to go and buy new clothes, but I do it begrudgingly.”
Q: What type of jewelry do you like best?
“I prefer to buy luxury watches than jewelry. I’m not sure if you could count a luxury watch as jewelry, but the thing about jewelry is like diamond rings, necklaces, and things like that. Often as soon as you buy them, as soon as you walk out of the jewelers, they lose value. Whereas many of the watches that I’ve purchased have actually gone up in value. I don’t want to count my chickens, but if I were to sell these watches, I probably would make a lot more money on them than I paid for them. So that’s why I prefer luxury timepieces over simple jewelry.”
Q: Who does the cooking in your home?
“My wife does the vast majority of the cooking, not because she’s necessarily a better cook. But the thing I love about my wife is in whatever she does, she goes the extra mile. So if I was cooking steak, I would just cook the steak and eat it with a little bit of bread. But my wife will have three different sauces, and balsamic vinegar, and two different olive oils, and four different types of potato. She really does go the extra mile when it comes to cooking in our house.”
Q: Do you like your neigborhood?
“Yes and no. Where I live is one of the most beautiful places in the world. We’re spoiled for choice in terms of outdoor activities and beautiful places. On our doorstep, we have beaches, forests, lakes, and mountains. But unfortunately, it’s Ireland, so it’s normally raining cats and dogs, so you don’t really get to enjoy it.”
Q: Do you have a healthy diet?
“As you can tell from looking at me, no, I don’t have a very healthy diet. I do try, I normally get up in the morning and have a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch, but it’s so easy just to throw in the towel when you get home after a hard day’s work, and your wife has a beautiful meal prepared, there’s a bottle of wine on the table, and your kid’s half-eaten chocolate is lying all around the kitchen. So I do quite well most of the day and then fail in the evenings.”
Q: Will you change careers in the future?
“It’s not something I really like to think about because, in the back of my mind, I know IELTS teachers and all educators are doomed because AI is going to replace them. Why would a student hire a human that is not as good as a machine that can do it at half the price or a fraction of the price and do it much more effectively? We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but I don’t think it’s that far away. But in the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy teaching for as long as I can.”
Q: Is there anything you don’t like about social media?
“The thing I hate about social media is the fact that these companies have so much power to change their systems and change their algorithms, but they decide not to for money. So to give you an example from my work and my job, to become a famous IELTS YouTuber is actually quite easy. All you have to do is come up with some clickbait titles like ‘hacks’ and ‘tricks’ and ‘predictions’ and things like that and put a pretty girl on the thumbnail. But that doesn’t mean that the person making that video knows anything about IELTS, it just means that they know how to trick the algorithm. You know, I understand Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that it takes time to fix platforms and change algorithms. But these are sometimes trillion-dollar companies. If they wanted to get these people off their platform, they could. But they decide not to because popular is more important than educating the public properly.”
Q: Are you okay with someone randomly taking your photo?
“No, I actually hate it and it makes me feel very uncomfortable. I’m from Ireland and in Ireland, it is quite rare for someone to take your photo. And if they want to take your photo, it is rude to just take it without asking you. So it’s customary just to say, “Do you mind if I take a photo?” And if somebody says yes, you can take it. But if they say no, you should definitely not take it. My wife, who is from Vietnam, in Vietnam, they have a very, very different culture. They are taking photos all of the time, and they will think nothing of this taking a photo of you. And if I get angry with someone for taking a photo, they’ll think that I’m the problem and I’m being rude. So when in Rome.”